Soccer

PSG vs. Man City: Pochettino says Lionel Messi and Marco Verratti ‘progressing well’ for Champions League

Paris Saint-Germain will likely be able to call on Lionel Messi and Marco Verratti against Manchester City in UEFA Champions League Group A on Tuesday on Paramount+ after head coach Mauricio Pochettino confirmed that both are likely to make the cut after recent injuries.

Messi has missed the past two matches against Metz and Montpellier with a knee issue while Verratti has been out for longer with a more serious knee injury, but both have been training in the build-up to the clash with Pep Guardiola’s men.

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“Like Marco, Leo is progressing well,” said Pochettino at Monday’s pre-match press conference. “I think he will make it. I do not know who will start yet. It takes time to work and develop in different conditions. They need to understand each other to play well.

“There is pressure on everyone. The most important thing is to be happy with the team. We need a bit of time. The players need to feel free to express themselves properly. Marco trained well and we think he can feature in the squad. It is a possibility that he will play.”

Pochettino then went on to suggest that Messi is still taking time to adjust to being with PSG after his summer move from Barcelona and that the legendary Argentine will ultimately turn out to be a success in the French capital.

“Leo is a guy like everyone else,” said the former Tottenham Hotspur boss. “He needs to adapt to the team, the culture, and the country. Let the players adjust and start to feel at home. He spent 20 years with Barcelona, and everything is new for him. It has not been long since he got here. I do not have any doubts that everything will be fine and that we will have success together.”

Meanwhile, Ander Herrera addressed Kylian Mbappe’s supposed criticism of teammate Neymar during the 2-0 win over Montpellier at the weekend and insisted that the pair are as close with each other as they have ever been.

“As soon as I arrived, I could see their bond,” said the Spaniard. “We can still see it. They laugh, they sleep. Everyone wants to score or set up a goal during games and that is normal. Sometimes, things get blown out of proportion. You have to see the funny side as we know what this club stands for.”

PSG and City meet in arguably the biggest Champions League clash so far on Tuesday in Group A which you can watch exclusively on Paramount+ as Les Parisiens look to avenge last season’s semi-finals defeat to the Citizens.



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